• The 20% off-the-job rule will make apprenticeships economically unviable

    If employers have to let apprentices out one day a week as the SFA wants, the whole system may grind to a halt, says Chris Taylor The Skills Funding Agency has confirmed its definition of off-the-job requirements for apprenticeships. Apprentices must spend 20 per cent of their contracted work hours, the equivalent of one day

    5.00 Mar. 25th, 2017 | Opinion

  • No growth projections for Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers

    There has been no modelling done by the Skills Funding Agency to predict how many providers will eventually end up on the new register of apprenticeship training providers, its boss has admitted. Peter Lauener’s stunning revelation will be of concern to many in the sector, not least the new Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman, who admits

    16.00 Mar. 24th, 2017 | News

  • Exclusive: National College fails to make Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers

    A high profile new government-backed national college has failed to make it onto the new Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, due to what it claims is a “technicality” in its application. The Skills Funding Agency announced the full list of providers that will be eligible to deliver apprenticeships from May this week, but the submission

    21.30 Mar. 16th, 2017 | News

  • SFA and EFA merger will clear way for Lauener to retire

    The Education and Skills Funding Agencies are preparing for an imminent merger that will clear the way for their boss Peter Lauener to retire, FE Week has learned. Mr Lauener held the role of EFA chief executive before he took on the top job at the SFA in November 2014, and has already overseen major

    17.00 Mar. 3rd, 2017 | News

  • End adult learner debt for cancelled courses

    Learners should not be left to pay for a ladder they cannot climb. The government needs to take responsibility for the fact that hundreds of adults, through no fault of their own, are being left with debts for cancelled courses. The honourable thing for ministers would be to acknowledge and fix the financial assurance failings

    10.03 Feb. 17th, 2017 | Opinion

  • New legal apprenticeships contract between SFA and employers unveiled

    The controversial new legal agreement, that employers will have to sign with the Skills Funding Agency to run new apprenticeships, has been unveiled. FE Week exclusively revealed last September that businesses would for the first time have to sign strict contracts with the SFA – rather than just with providers, as the sector had expected.

    13.20 Feb. 13th, 2017 | News

  • FE Week victory: apprenticeship rules ban brokerage

    Public funds cannot be used to pay brokers’ fees, the Skills Funding Agency has officially ruled. In its final rules for apprenticeship funding published this week, the SFA has at last clamped down on the sorts of shady dealings which have seen private bodies and brokers cream off millions of pounds via commission fees. The

    13.14 Feb. 3rd, 2017 | News

  • Adult Education budget procurement process set to launch

    The first ever procurement process for adult education budget contracts has been given the ministerial green light and is expected to begin within days. FE Week understands the plan has been given the go-ahead by the secretary of state for education, Justine Greening (pictured). The Skills Funding Agency first wrote to training providers in October and told

    11.34 Jan. 13th, 2017 | News

  • Skills Funding Agency to remain in charge of assessment organisation register

    The Skills Funding Agency will stay in charge of the new register of apprentice assessment organisations, despite its slow start, and even though it is not related to funding. The government’s Draft Strategic Guidance to the IfA, unveiled on January 4, controversially confirmed that the SFA would “maintain responsibility for administration” of the register. This

    10.19 Jan. 9th, 2017 | News

  • SFA criticised for 'total farce' over key provider submission failures

    Management by the Skills Finding Agency of a key provider submission of learner data has been labelled a “total farce” and “very disturbing”, after it opted against extending the deadline for a second time following continued software problems. The SFA online data collection system, known as the ‘Hub’, is understood to have initially gone down on December

    19.01 Dec. 7th, 2016 | News

  • Reports of discrimination at SFA double in a year

    Levels of reported discrimination in a key FE government agency have doubled in a year, an annual staff survey has revealed. Ten per cent of respondents from the Skills Funding Agency to this year’s Civil Service People Survey said they had personally experienced discrimination at work in the previous 12 months. This compares with just

    17.18 Dec. 6th, 2016 | News